Fallout 76 strips away most of the things I love about Bethesda's Fallout games and replaces them with human-controlled avatars. But while other players are doing the best they can with what they've got, this is a game world that spectacularly fails them - on pretty much every level.
My fondest memories of Soulcalibur, the long-running 3D fighting game from Bandai Namco, are playing on Sega's Dreamcast and Nintendo's GameCube, parrying until I felt like I could parry blindfolded. I've always loved Soulcalibur's parry - a clash of weapons, a spark, a cling! Predict your opponent's move, time the parry to perfection and counter. Soulcalibur is at its most satisfying when you get in your opponent's head and expose the chink in their armour. Parry, parry, parry, slice and dice. Done.
One of my favourite things to do in Blackout, Call of Duty's take on battle royale, is to crash through windows. I know it makes a lot of noise, I know it alerts nearby enemies to my position and I know there's a door right next to the window. But I just can't help myself. Sprint, vault, smash! I'm inside, glass on the floor, loot to pick up or - hopefully - an enemy player who dies at my hand while marvelling at the grandeur of my entrance.
Blame Ronaldo. The moment I saw the then Real Madrid superstar score that overhead kick against Juventus in the Champions League quarter finals, I knew it would dominate the FIFA 19 experience. It was too high-profile a goal in too high-profile a match for EA Sports to ignore. The fact it was scored by FIFA 19's cover star helped, I'm sure.
I love the football in PES 2019. Not the game of football, the actual football. There's an impressive realism to the way it moves, the way it bobbles along the grass after a pass, the way it spits out of a tackle in some random direction, the way a low driven through ball skims across the pitch like the Tokyo to Kyoto Bullet Train kisses the track, the way it spins like a planet in fast forward after a wallop from the outside of your striker's boot, the way it pulverises the back of the net - which, by the way, is much improved this year - rolls out of the goal, is scooped up by your striker and hurriedly carried to the centre circle, the comeback now on.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is a match made in heaven. It's that rare licensed game that comes from the marriage of a developer and franchise who are perfect for each other. What Rocksteady did for Batman, what Rare did for James Bond and what BioWare did for Star Wars, Japanese studio Arc System Works has done for Dragon Ball. The result is an exciting, exuberant and surprisingly rewarding brawler that's one of the best fighting games I've played, and it's not just for genre enthusiasts either.
Street Fighter 5 Arcade Edition is what Street Fighter 5 should have been when it launched back in February 2016: a fun, easy-to-get-into but hard to master fighting game that is, crucially, feature complete.
You know how Spurs never made a superstar signing in the summer but are still really good and should really end up in the top four of the Premier League? Well, FIFA is Spurs this year.
The arrival of a new Marvel vs. Capcom game should be an event. It should send shivers down the spine. It should spark fingertips a-plinking on the buttons of fight sticks. Infinite, though, does none of these things.
Destiny 2 feels like an apology. It is the righting of the wrongs committed by the divisive Destiny 1, a game I couldn't help but pump a thousand hours into despite it often feeling like pulling teeth.
Let's get straight into it: Tekken 7 does a lot right. The core fighting system is as rewarding to master as ever and new mechanics benefit the game in useful ways. But it's what Tekken 7 doesn't do that drags the overall package down.
Value is an interesting concept. It means something different for each and every one of us. Some people wouldn't blink at the thought of forking out £35 for Ultra Street Fighter 2: The Final Challengers on the Nintendo Switch. Me? I think it's a rip-off.
Before you fight another player in Injustice 2, the game tells you your win odds. It's a slightly disconcerting thing to be presented with just before getting stuck into yet another online ranking match. You have a four per cent chance of winning, the game often tells me. Well damn. Bit of a lost cause, this, isn't it? And then I think, this is actually a lovely little touch from the developers at NetherRealm - one of many littered throughout this bulging fighting game package.
In moving Street Fighter into the next generation, Capcom has rejigged the famous fighting game series not just in its core combat, but in its structure - each with varying success. The match to match fighting, as you'd expect from Capcom, is brilliant. It's just a shame that features you'd expect to be included at launch are missing, and online play is marred by disconnects from the company's servers.
For developer 343 Industries, the honeymoon period is over. It's been three years since Halo 4 came out for the Xbox 360. Halo 5, built for the more powerful Xbox One, is the studios' second shot at what was once the biggest franchise in gaming. Now, after all the marketing hype, after all the flashy television adverts, after all the fictional investigative audio files on Soundcloud, after all the promoted tweets and the carefully constructed hashtags, has 343 done enough to step out of Bungie's shadow and into the spotlight?
Fighting games are hard. For many they're impenetrable. Sure, you can do a hadouken; that quarter circle forward motion is ingrained in the psyche of most gamers of a certain generation, but beyond that? Well, things get complicated. And online? Forget it. Destroyed in the blink of an eye bruised by yet another meaty dragon punch.